sábado, marzo 21, 2009

Interad SA de CV Threatens Guamilule Residents

The goons working for Interad SA de CV who have been harassing the Garibo Vargas family of Barra de Potosí, owners of the property at Cerro de Guamilule that Interad is allegedly trying to steal via payoffs to corrupt public servants, have now threatened the life of María Isabel Garibo. María Isabel filed a formal complaint with local authorities after one of Interad's contracted workers told her "ya no van a ser autoridades, sino sicarios quienes los van a sacar de ahí" - "now it's not going to be authorities, but instead hitmen who are going to get you all out of there."

Just last week goons working for Interad vandalized with impunity a building on the hillside of Cerro de Guamilule that watchmen and workers of the Garibo Vargas family use. They also tore down a sign belonging to the Garibo Vargas family. Once again the absence of the municipal police of Petatlán and their failure to do anything spoke volumes of the complicity of influential public servants.

The land title papers presented in court by Interad SA de CV have already been demonstrated to be completely false, yet they have been allowed to continue their malevolent presence on the property.

With tears on her cheeks and with her voice breaking María recounted recently the history of abuses she and her family have been suffering for about a year and a half now at the hands of the criminals of Interad. She appealed to the public for support and to the "responsible authorities" to do their lawful jobs. Her home has been burned down, other buildings on her property have been ransacked and destroyed, property fences have been torn down, grazing fields have been burned, and she has suffered a constant barrage of threats all allegedly attributed to Interad.

Yet the state of Guerrero continues being a lawless region where injustice and impunity are everyday occurrences and it seems that almost no authority or public servant ever does anything that does not benefit them personally. The Governor of Guerrero, Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo, seems to be going out of his way to permit land theft and ecocide by developers.

Even in Zihuatanejo the state-run trust known as Fibazi immediately took advantage of an allegedly illegal zoning change backed by the state that allowed tens of thousands of squatters to steal lands in exchange for votes for Torreblanca's party. Fibazi, who had no reason to exist since there were no more public lands for sale, all of a sudden saw a goldmine for the taking, and without any local consultation and ignoring the wishes of locals to preserve their hillsides as well as the lack of water and infrastructure, they began building new roads along La Ropa's hillsides and selling lands there that had recently lost their legal protection as "ecological zones". Since there is no such thing as real accountability or transparency in Guerrero's government, current Fibazi personnel stand to make small personal fortunes, even after the obligatory kickbacks to their superiors.

Land theft, corruption, injustice and impunity have come to be synonymous with Guerrero's state government, and they have worsened since the PRD won the governorship. By impoverishing the residents they have allowed rich and influential individuals and organizations to have free reign to do as they please with very little opposition. Often the opposition is threatened with violence or worse, as in the recent incident where indigenous na savi leaders, Raul Lucas and Manuel Ponce, were picked up by police only to turn up dead days later after having been tortured first.

The local community in Barra de Potosí and Zihuatanejo overwhelmingly support the Garibo Vargas family in the dispute for the land at Cerro de Guamilule. If anything should happen to their personal safety we WILL hold Interad responsible and the government accountable.